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Tell Us More fails to enhance Festival claims

The highly-touted Tell Us More has been pushed out to 8/1 by Coral for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March following his shock defeat at the hands of stable companion McKinley in the Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle at Naas.

The Willie Mullins trained gelding had been the 6/1 favourite for the Neptune going into the 2m 4f Grade 1 contest following an impressive bumper success and facile debut win over hurdles.

However, the 4/5 favourite failed to live up to his huge reputation as yet another Mullins “machine” when getting beat 1/2 a length by a 134-rated rival who had been pulled-up on his previous start.

There were no excuses for Tell Us More who attempted to make all and jumped well but found disappointingly little when push came to shove.

The six-year-old may well improve for the experience, but he will have to do so dramatically in my opinion to have a chance of winning any race at the Festival.

Mullins was quick to offer an excuse that Tell Us More may have paid the price for doing the “donkey work” , but to me eyes he had the run of the race and was simply not good enough on the day.

Given that the winner is nothing special, and had finished a well-beaten fourth in a handicap at Listowel last September off a mark of 131, the form also doesn’t look strong.

The glum look on Mullins’ face as he posed for the post race photographs with the winner, who like Tell Us More also carried the colours of the Gigginstown House stud, also told a story and I am sure that deep down the County Carlow handler was bitterly disappointed.

Mullins is now considering dropping Tell Us More back in trip, and that could see him line-up for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle over 2m rather than the Neptune.
Coral make him a 16/1 shot for the Festival curtain raiser on Tuesday, March 10th.